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It’s time for my semi-annual blog post! Consider it my Christmas gift to you…

elf

Aaah, holiday break. I’m thoroughly enjoying this week off work. I’ve been checking off a lot of adoption prep items from my never-ending list. My sister — who knows well my perfectionist tendencies — keeps reminding me that everything doesn’t have to be perfect when my children arrive. She’s right. Still, I want the books lined up neatly on the shelves, the artwork hung just right on the walls, the stuffed animals ready and waiting for hugs and kisses. I hear it’s called nesting. I’m renaming it stress-ting.

Many a garage sale must be rummaged to find the first 30 volumes of The Magic Tree House book series ready for my child who doesn’t even speak English. Many an eBay site must be browsed to find DVDs of The Sandlot, The Neverending Story, The Karate Kid, and other required household viewing.

I think I’ve got all the important stuff covered though.

Wait…

Underwear!

Little humans need undies.

(Adding to my shopping list now.)

I leave in just a few weeks to travel overseas to meet and bring home my children. I’ve talked to them on Skype a few times and it’s been incredible. I can’t wait to see them in person — to hold their little hands, to look into their beautiful eyes, to tell them they are loved now and forevermore.

In the midst of adoption prep, I’ve managed to somehow binge-watch season two of Fuller House during this Christmas break. Priorities, people. My friend, Sarah, and I are embarrassed to admit we’re watching this thing. I’ll say publicly it’s so I can relate to my teenage niece. But we all know it’s because that dang Fernando cracks me up! (Even despite his annoying Sofia Vergara accent.)

fernandoAlong with the usual astronomical level of corny on the show, there’s a plot twist that had me pulling a Jim Halpert face more than once. Uncle Jesse and Aunt Becky decide to adopt a child. Jesse comes home one day and basically says, “Okay, I filed all the papers. Pretty soon we’ll get our baby from China.” And then… Voila!… they appear in the backyard with a baby named Pamela. Adoption is so easy and fast!

While I commend Fuller House for bringing an adoption storyline into the mix, I feel obligated to point out what I hope is obvious: This is not how adoption works.

For most, adoption is a long process. For me, nearly two years now. Choosing an agency, the home study, the dossier, the waiting, the funding, the matching, the legal and immigration paperwork . . . Sometimes it feels like a second job. And those are just the physical tasks. The emotional toll is an entirely different beast. I felt especially heartbroken waking up on Christmas morning without my kids, knowing they were without their mama. I cried some tears under the twinkle lights and prayed they knew I was thinking of them.

But I’m reminded over and over how perfect God’s timing is. Which may sound funny coming from someone who’s spent the last 5+ years writing a dating blog yet still remains single and is about to become a single mom to boot. What can I say? God works in mysterious ways… even in this stubborn heart of mine.

If you’ve been on social media at all this past month, you’ve seen 2016 hailed as the “worst year ever,” mainly because of the shocking U.S. election and a few celebrities that died. I don’t see how 2016 can even be close to being the worst year. I mean… Hello?

  • 9/11
  • The Civil War
  • Slavery
  • Both World Wars
  • The Holocaust
  • The Plague
  • Famine
  • The Great Depression
  • L-O-C-U-S-T-S

locusts

**This photo is probably overkill. But I can’t stress enough how much I fear this happening. So much so that if I were a contestant on The Bachelor, our one-on-one date would inevitably revolve around locusts in order to prove how much we can conquer our fears in the name of reality television love. In my defense, I feel I’ve already proven my warrior strength by surviving the Nashville Cicada Invasion of 2011.

And if we’re arguing that 2016 should top the list, it wouldn’t be because the actress who played a Star Wars princess died, or because a loudmouth businessman was just elected U.S. president. It would be because of the genocides happening right now in Syria, Somalia, Nigeria, and many other nations; the Israel-Palestine conflict that has consequences of biblical proportions (pun intended); the growing racial divide in the USA; the rise of ISIS; the 22,000 children that die each day due to poverty . . .

Sorry to be a Debbie Downer, but you get my point.

In the 10 seconds that Netflix gives me between Fuller House episodes, I’ve been reflecting back on this year. Over and over, this passage keeps coming to my mind (Romans 8:35-39):

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? . . .

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

I’m not trying to minimize anyone’s pain from this past year. Loved ones left us too soon, children were diagnosed with serious illnesses, jobs were lost and businesses failed, struggles with infertility persisted, finances were drained — and the list goes on. I’m sorry for your losses. But I know for a fact that you are not without hope. We are never without hope.

DNew Momon’t be disheartened, friends. God has not left our side. We have a lot to do this coming year to make the world a better place, to love one another better. And through it all we can rest in knowing that nothing will ever separate us from the love of God.

Here’s to a great year ahead! I’ll update you on the adoption process as I can. As you may know, I’m limited in what I can share online until the adoption is legal and finalized. We can have a big blog party then. You’re all invited.

With deep hope and gratitude,

~Ruth